Gerard Silverberg: Meltdown Economics & Other Complex Catastrophes: Announcing the 'Creditanstalt' Heinrich Brüning and Andrew Mellon Memorial Prizes: "Candidates for either or both of the prizes currently are: (1) Wolfgang Schäuble, German Finance Minister; (2) Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Finance Minister and Euro Group President; (3) Angela Merkel, German Chancellor; (4) Jens Weidmann, Bundesbank President; (5) Helmut Kohl, former German Chancellor, and with Francois Mitterand (deceased), founding father of the Maastricht Treaty; (6) Nicolas Sarkozy, former French President and co-initiator with Angela Merkel of the 'Deauville Agreement' for Private Sector Involvement in a Greek debt 'restructuring' (aka default); (7) Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission, for blaming the Keynesian messenger (see letter and Financial Times piece)"
Kevin Drum: Yes, Disability Payments Are Up, But It's Nothing to Act Surprised About: "In 2012, there were about 10 percent more people receiving disability than was forecast in 1995. Total outlays were about 18 percent higher than forecast. That's not nothing, but it's not a lot, either…. [S]ince 2000 the number of beneficiaries has been growing slightly faster than the original 1995 forecast. Second, there was a small extra spike starting in 2009, probably due to the Great Recession…. [P]eople who otherwise might have gutted it out and returned to work in better times decided to go on disability instead when jobs became scarce. However… [this is] only a small extra blip in the number of people approved for disability payments. The blip in outlays is a bit bigger, but that's mostly a mirage: the recession reduced taxable income below forecast, which artificially inflates the outlay figure because it's calculated as a percentage of income. By far the majority of the growth in the disability program has been due to simple demographics (as the boomer generation ages, more of them go on disability), and it was baked into the forecast two decades ago. We shouldn't act shocked now that the forecast is coming true."
The Beacon A Kansas City Tavern | Bruce Bartlett: The Eclectic Ideological Journey of David Stockman | Twelve Years' Military Adventure in Three Quarters of the Globe | Owen Zidar: Tax Cuts for Whom? | Rebecca Schoenkopf: Did Al Gore Run Over Bob Woodward's Dog or Something? |
Henry Farrell: The Org: "Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan (who I know a little and like) are blogging about their recent book on organization management, The Org (Powells, Amazon) over at OrgTheory.net at the moment. It’s both a very good book and an excellent introduction to a particular style of thinking about organizations."
Roger Farmer: Confessions of a Keynesian heretic - FT.com: "I may be the only self-professed Keynesian who is not actively campaigning for large public infrastructure projects. Don’t get me wrong; I believe repairing a few bridges or building an oil pipeline or two would be good things to do. But it is unhelpful to confuse arguments for public investment with plans to restore full employment. Would a big-state investment programme increase employment? Yes. Would it be cheap, since interest rates are low? Absolutely. But it is much easier to increase the size of government than to shrink it. The Keynesians are right: we need to increase demand. But what is the best way to do that? I prefer to see the creation of more private sector jobs, not more government jobs. One way to do that is through managing the value of financial wealth, an approach that offers a creative alternative to more government spending in a time of austerity."
David Atkins: Politico sees no policy, hears no policy, speaks no policy: "The headmast of Politico is a four-page story about Tom Steyer, an climate change activist and billionaire who is promising to throw primary cash against pro-Keystone Pipeline Democrats. The story spends a lot of time with fretting and gnashing of teeth about how this one individual will make the horrible, horrible 'mistake' of shifting Democrats too far to the left, just as the Koch brothers have shifted Republicans to the right--as if that somehow hasn't been a successful strategy for Charles and David Koch, or as if one liberal billionaire's efforts amount to much of anything against the entire weight of the conservative establish and fossil fuel industry money. But unmentioned throughout the lengthy article is the actual policy."
Chris Caldwell: End of the US nursery rhyme economy: "The US has more graphic designers (191,000) than bakers (157,000)… more choreographers than metal casters…. A president with a real interest in the economy would also visit some of the nation’s 202,000 sports coaches or its 80,000 substance-abuse counsellors. The centre of the US economy has moved from shop floor to shopfront, then to shopping online…. [S]ince 2007, the US has gained 387,000 managerial positions and lost about 2m clerical ones…. Less than a year ago, too, scholars of higher education were marvelling at how rapidly online university courses had advanced…. [N]ew-economy jobs pay less, in general, than the disappearing old-economy ones. The lowest- paid is food preparation…. Democrats are as disoriented as Republicans. Neither have a coherent approach to this problem of technologically driven downward mobility, aside from hoping it will turn out to be temporary."
On April 6,2013:
- Tedra Osell: The Ghost Writer: English Essay Periodicals and the Materialization of the Public in the Eighteenth Century http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/04/tedra-osell-the-ghost-writer-english-essay-periodicals-and-the-materialization-of-the-public-in-the-eighteenth-century.html
- Liveblogging World War II: April 6, 1943 http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/04/liveblogging-world-war-ii-april-6-1943.html
- Noted for April 6, 2013 http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/04/noted-for-april-6-2013.html
- Tyrannies: Saturday Twentieth Century Economic History Weblogging http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2013/04/tyrannies-saturday-twentieth-century-economic-history-weblogging.html